Book Club

Living in Tiny Town has taught me one thing fo’ shizzle: you have to make your own fun. Along those lines, one of the “fun” things that I do every month is book club. I’ve mentioned this before, and periodically receive emails asking for specifics.

For the past several years, we’ve been getting together in each other’s homes to discuss a particular book talk about sex see each other without the children underfoot. It is an actual book club (vs a “book club”), meaning we DO pick a title to discuss every month. However, we are not known for our devotion to discussing the book or staying on topic. Also, every month there are several people who don’t read (or don’t finish) the book. They/we still have fun.
We use a list of questions (usually from readinggroupguides.com) to get us started, but soon the conversation veers away from the book and eventually reaches the point of no return. I always laugh really hard- at least once- each time we meet. It is absolutely delightful to see these women without each of us also parenting our children. (Though nurslings are always welcome.)
If you’d like to start a book group of your own, here are some tips:
*be willing to host often, especially in the beginning
*mix up the type of books chosen (rotating months of fiction/nonfiction, for example)
*pick books readily available and not too new (hard covers are expensive; new books are harder to get at libraries)
*invite all sorts of people initially… those that are not really into it will weed themselves out
*be flexible- if lots of people can’t make it, we reschedule. If we usually meet on a Thursday but that won’t work this month, we’ll pick a Tuesday
*keep the door open for any new book lovers that might enter your life (people who really love to read are almost always a good addition)
*pick a time of day that is convenient for your group: for us, this is 7:30 pm- after dinner and the kids can be pj’d and ready for bed before you walk out the door. Mornings (like during preschool time) or Saturdays sometimes work great too.
*choose books 1-2 months ahead to give everyone time to get a copy of the book
Finally, here is a list of what we’ve read, starting with our most recent and working back to our very first book (which is Bel Canto- still a favorite of mine!). Feel free to use this list to get ideas for your own group. (I love seeing other book clubs’ lists.)
(Sorry about the font change. Copying and pasting…)
I asterisked** the ones I particularly LOVED. (I loved something about each of them, however.)

2010:

(for May) Girl With a Dragon Tatoo- Stieg Larson

(for April) Desert Flower- Waris Dirie

Broken for You- Stephanie Kallos

Atchafalaya Houseboat- Gwen Roland

The Help- Kathryn Stockett**

2009:

Curious Incident of the Dog in Nighttime- Mark Haddon

Crackers and Milk- Arlene Nelson

Animal, Vegetable, Miracle- Barbara Kingsolver**

The Book Thief- Markus Zusak**

Last Child in the Woods- Richard Louv

The Shack- Wm Paul Young

The Tipping Point- Malcolm Gladwell

Angry Housewives Eating Bon-bons- Lorna Landvick

Three Cups of Tea- Greg Mortenson**

Get to Work- Linda R Hirshman


2008:

The Story of Edgar Sawtelle- David Wroblewski

19 Minutes- Jodi Picoult

The Ten Year Nap- Meg Wolitzer

Love in the Time of Cholera- Gabriel Garcia

Plum Wine- Angela Davis-Gardner

Kitchen Confidential- Anthony Bourdain

Shop Girl- Steve Martin

Water For Elephants- Sara Gruen**

Red Tent- Anita Deamant**

Kite Runner- Khaled Hosseini**

2007:

Eat Pray Love- Elizabeth Gilbert

Mango Season- Amulya Malladi

Life of Pi- Yann Martel**

Memory Keeper’s Daughter- Kim Edwards

Secret Life of Bees- Sue Monk Kidd**

Plan B- Anne Lamott

Glass Castle- Jeanette Walls**

Bel Canto- Anne Patchett

If you do start a group of your own, be sure to let me know how it’s going. Happy reading!
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